No One Needs ARs For Self Defense Or Hunting?

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 7 months ago

There has been a recent proliferation of commentaries advocating the notion that no one needs an AR for self defense or hunting.  They are good for nothing except killing and maiming innocent human lives, and should be banned.  Some even go so far as to claim that we have no constitutional right to own an AR, which elicited my response in Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR?  While I do not believe that the government has a moral right to dictate my belongings, and we do in fact have a constitutional right to own weapons of all sorts, it’s always good to retrieve the conversation from the theoretical and ensconce it squarely in the practical.  A recent incident in South Carolina does exactly that for us.

The owner of the Guns and Ammo Gunsmith store in North Augusta, S.C. thought he was going to die tragically. Three men had driven a van into his store, executing what they hoped would be a quick “smash-and-grab” robbery.

Instead, they met owner Stephen Bayezes, who opened fire on the three intruders after the commotion set off an alarm, hitting each one at least once. He says he is not proud of what he was forced to do, but added sometimes “you’ve got to.” The incident occurred on Aug. 9, but the owner says a set of tire marks on the store’s floor and an unfinished wall are daily reminders of the night that he almost lost his life.

“It’s a haunting thought. It literally is a haunting thought when you see the tire tracks, you hear the tires,” Bayezes told WRDW-TV. “Everybody assures you that you just did what you had to do to protect your family. They say it’ll heal over time, but when does time go away? It’s something that nobody ever wants to do.”

But he says he had no choice after he heard one of the robbers shout, “Shoot the mother f**ker!,” followed by the sound of a gun cocking. “I mean, they would’ve shot me. In my mind, with no reservation. If that firearm had been loaded, I might’ve been a statistic.”

With his fight-or-flight reflexes in full gear, Bayezes started shooting, striking all three men, killing one while the surviving two escaped.

So, what happened to the two suspects? WRDW explains:

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office says Eddie Stewart and Franklin Robinson will be charged with burglary 1st, grand larceny and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Both suspects are still in the hospital and will be taken into custody once they are released.

The Aiken County coroner says the third suspect, 20-year-old K’Raven Goodwin of Eastover, S.C., died from multiple gunshot wounds on Thursday morning.

The whole altercation took but one minute, he said. The burglars escaped with roughly 50 guns that night, however all of them have been returned safely.

The scene below shows the carnage sustained by the business.

The report says that this is the same type of weapon Bayezes used to defend himself and his wife.

This report doesn’t clearly state the details of Bayezes’s reaction, but the Aiken Standard does.

A North Augusta gun store owner used a semi-automatic weapon when he opened fire on three men who broke into his business early Thursday, killing one and sending two others to the hospital with gunshot wounds, officials said.

The break-in occurred around 4 a.m. at the Guns and Ammo Gunsmith, located on Edgefield Road in North Augusta, said Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jason Feemster, a spokesman for the agency.

Stephen Bayazes Jr., 57, who lives in an attached apartment in the rear of the business with his wife, said he awoke to a loud bang and the silent store alarm going off.

Police said he got out of bed, grabbed his AR-15 weapon and found three men inside the store.

The men crashed a vehicle into the business and were smashing display cases and taking guns when he said he heard one of the men shout, “kill that (expletive deleted ).”

He told investigators he emptied a .223-caliber 30-round magazine and then retreated to his room to reload.

When he returned, he said he saw the vehicle pulling out from the business.

He used one of those evil “high capacity magazines” to defend his home, one of those features on so-called assault weapons that no living man is supposed to need.  He emptied his magazine.  I would have too.

But on to hunting.  Discovery Channel viewers may have taken note of a new series called Yukon Men.  It’s an interesting show on the hardships of living in the Yukon, but more to the point, take note of what happens in this video.

The young man uses an AR to take down the Caribou, and it’s a good size animal.  I also know someone who has taken down a large deer with the same caliber round (5.56 mm, or .223, and my friend was using “pointed soft point” ammunition for the deer).  The young man smartly remarks that the caliber he is using is good because it doesn’t destroy the meat.  This is meat he needs to eat in order to live.

It’s preposterous to assert that a high capacity magazine isn’t useful for self defense.  Clearly it is, and just as clearly, use of an AR (or similar modern sporting rifle) is useful and in common use for hunting.

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  1. On August 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm, Lina Inverse said:

    Sorry, isn’t going to fly. The gun grabber’s reply would be that he should have stayed in his apartment and simply called the police, and that his store was an attractive nuisance anyway; obviously all of them should be outlawed if this sort of thing can happen.

    I’m sure in plenty of places in the US he’d be in trouble for going into the store and prompting the violence.

  2. On August 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    He lived in the store, or attached to it.

  3. On August 30, 2012 at 7:02 am, bob sykes said:

    The utility of AR15s for personal defense and hunting is obvious, but that is not the reason for the Second Amendment. That Amendment exists so that the people will have the means to overthrow the government should it ever become oppressive.

    If you will recall the Declaration of Independence: “… that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …” These were the opening lines to the Revolutionary War and the Second Amendment was that War’s closing lines.

  4. On August 30, 2012 at 8:48 am, Lina Inverse said:

    Yeah, he lived in an apartment attached to the store. But in many areas he’d be in trouble for grabbing an ASSAULT RIFLE!!!, leaving his apartment and and entering the store while the burglary was in progress. Seriously: he inserted himself into a property crime and people were shot and killed as a result; Texas is the only state where I’m sure that’s OK, and I expect the laws allowing that to be overturned in state court someday.

    In my extremely Red State region of my state, it would probably be OK; in other parts, he would probably be crucified. The general attitude is that all human life is worth more than any property. You or I might not agree with that, but it’s the law and case law of most of the land.

  5. On August 30, 2012 at 9:22 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Bad argument, Lina.

    He had no idea whatsoever that a crime was being or had been committed. You and I do because we are reading a new report post facto. Think for a minute before you type. He didn’t. He knew that there was a loud noise. For all he knew it could have been a gas leak and explosion or a fire and explosion or any of a host of things. He had every right to enter the property … it was his. He had every right to carry a weapon. I do all of the time in all sorts of conditions, whether I know that there is going to be a specific threat or not. On occasion I will grab one of my handguns to go into my yard or other parts of my home, and on occasion I will grab my AR because that’s what I FEEL like doing.

    He didn’t “insert himself into the situation.” You inferred this from reading a report in your chair in the safety of your home or office. He went into his property. That’s all you can legally charge him with, and that’s legal. No ifs, ands or buts. Period. I would take that to court any day. You cannot charge him with intent because you cannot infer state of mind from the facts.

    And he won’t get charged with any crime … because he didn’t commit one. And he used a high capacity magazine and unloaded it, just as I would have. Don’t shoot to maim, shoot to kill because that’s the only way to obviate the threat.

  6. On August 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm, Lina Inverse said:

    I’m making the assumption he realized there was a burglary in progress. That’s very possibly wrong, depending on e.g. whether he could see the vehicle sticking out of the store on his path into it.

    If we assume he didn’t know, although very likely suspected, then what I’m saying is mostly wrong. Weasel word because, again, I’m painting this like our adversaries do, especially your point about this proving the need to defend something they don’t think should exist in the first place. (Again, from their viewpoint and how they’d put it.)

    I think you’d be better off looking for some case of a women or “kid” holding off a motorcycle gang, not this incident.

    You cannot charge him with intent because you cannot infer state of mind from the facts.

    But a lot of prosecutors would. E.g. look what the prosecution is imputing about George Zimmerman’s state of mind.

    Don’t shoot to maim, shoot to kill because that’s the only way to obviate the threat.

    Arrrgh. That attitude, especially in a discoverable form like your blog, will put you in jail. Run, do not walk and get a copy of Massad Ayoob’s In the Gravest Extreme or the like.

    In a nutshell, in certain circumstances we and for that matter in theory the police are allowed to use lethal force to stop people. We are never allowed to use it to intentionally kill them (although sometimes that’s an impossibly fine distinction, e.g. when a sniper targets a hostage taker’s brain stem to prevent harm to the hostage).

  7. On August 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    If you check my own writings on, for example, repelling a knife fight, you will see the following counsel: (a) evasion, (b) egress, (c) escape.

    No one chooses to do what this man did, and from the writeup I take it that his life was in grave danger, right then, not later. This is a reaction, viz., trying to save your own life. But as to the use of deadly force, you are wrong. Castle doctrine, codified in 36+ states now I believe, says that one can use deadly force under certain conditions. Saving your life in your own domicile or place of work is one of them. I will always state to my lawyer that I simply shot until I felt no longer threatened by the intruder. It will always be a true statement. No one will put me in jail because in the event of an intruder in my home I intend to shoot until I feel like I was no longer under threat. There are far too many reports of multiple rounds failing to stop assailants. If I happen to unload a magazine, I will load another in order to protect my family in the case of failure of my rounds.

    Failure. You know. You are using an AR and fail to account for height over bore in your sighting – or you are using a handgun and the assailant is moving and you miss – or you hit but you don’t hit center mass and you simply piss him off worse – or … I could go on.

    Have you ever done “failure to stop” drills? Would you know what to do in this event? Are you certain that you can pull off all of the things you need to do while you are in mortal danger? Do you ever intend to tally the number of rounds you fire at an assailant? If so, you are a fool.

    I reiterate my comments above. You are starting with certain presuppositions, and frankly I think that not only are they wrong, they are tainted by your living in a communist state.

    Wager me this. No prosecutor in the state of South Carolina would ever take this up on charges. Further, if one did, no jury of peers in S.C. would ever, ever, ever convict this man of wrongdoing of any kind. In fact, something like this wouldn’t make it past grand jury. Ever.


  8. On August 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    As I thought more about this, I believe that the basic issue here is that your counsel is narrowly tailored towards states that have not codified Castle doctrine.

    Reminder. For states that have laws that follow Castle doctrine, there is no requirement – NONE – to retreat to another room and call the police.

    Now. You might make that decision for whatever reason. Frankly I don’t think it adds to your safety. Dry wall cannot stop bullets, and if someone is intent on doing you harm, being in your bedroom cannot make you safe. Furthermore, you might not have collected all of your family members into one room. So why someone would choose to take this approach is beyond me.

    But my main point is that you are under NO OBLIGATION to do so with the current laws of S.C., or the laws of N.C. where I live, or many other states.

    I understand your counsel. But it is dated and does not reflect current understanding of threats in the age of home invasions, and doesn’t reflect the current laws of states that have Castle doctrine in their laws.

  9. On August 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm, Lina Inverse said:

    I live in a “Purple” state, so you might say it’s half-Communist. Worse with the judiciary, which erased our statutory Castle Doctrine. No one can figure out if we have a Duty to Retreat or not outside of the home or business.

    Now, my part of it is pretty good and unjust prosecution is unlikely, but I suspect that’s not the case in the state’s big cities. I also spend too much time in Massachusetts (initially for college) … it’s real bad there, worse since they passed their horribly flawed “assault weapons” law.

  10. On August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    This report:

    Was making the rounds a few months ago where I work. It’s sad. Sometimes people have romantic notions of what they can accomplish when they retreat, or simply allow the intruders to do what they want, or work hard to ensure that they don’t use deadly force against the intruders.

    This report – and thousands like it – dispatch such silly myths. Assailants in your home can and most often do perpetrate awful, hideous things that last a lifetime for those who stay alive, and often ensure that the occupants don’t stay alive for very long.

    Nothing romantic. Very violent. And based on the report of the invasion in this case, the perpetrators intended extreme violence against Mr. Bayezes.

  11. On December 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm, Fireman280 said:

    I laugh at some of these what if comments! To hear the excuses that are given makes me wonder if they were in his shoes, I bet they would have done the SAME thing.
    I’m sorry but this world ain’t getting no better so all you na sayers do us all a favor and let the ones who want to own a weapon do so and for all that don’t move along and stop your crying, your gonna need them some day. Promise.

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You are currently reading "No One Needs ARs For Self Defense Or Hunting?", entry #8983 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,Firearms,Guns,Second Amendment and was published August 29th, 2012 by Herschel Smith.

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